Storybook Ending: Max McHugh Pulls Off 100 Breast Three-Peat In Front Of Home Crowd


For the last three years, Max McHugh has been the face of two different things in the world of swimming: the men’s 100-yard breast and the University of Minnesota. He’s constantly the favorite to win the 100 breast at NCAAs, dominating his races from start to finish, and his points always single-handedly bring the Golden Gophers into the top 25. But tonight in his final collegiate meet, the two things that defined McHugh’s collegiate career came together, as the fifth-year senior won his third-straight 100 breast NCAA title in front of a roaring home crowd.

McHugh touched the wall in a time of 50.00, beating out runner-up Van Mathias by 0.6 seconds. He swam the fifth-fastest time in history, and was just 0.1 seconds off his best time of 49.90 that makes him the second-fastest performer of all-time. His win marks the first time in three years that a male swimmer has won an individual NCAA title at their home pool, as the last time this was done was when Texas’s Townley Haas and John Shebat won titles in 2019.

In addition, McHugh is also the first swimmer to three-peat in the men’s 100 breast since Kevin Cordes won four straight from 2012 to 2015.

A constant pattern in McHugh’s 100 breast victories has been dominance, and he certainly put it on display tonight. He’s won all of his NCAA titles in the event by over half a second, winning by 0.78 seconds in 2021, by 0.59 seconds in 2022, and by 0.6 seconds in 2023.

“I love my fans, I love the team, I couldn’t do this without them,” McHugh said after his race. “I’ve loved my five years at Minnesota, and I’m going to miss it.”

Even though McHugh swam his last 100 breast NCAA race, his NCAA career is not done yet, as he will race the 200 breast tomorrow on the final day of this meet.

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2 months ago

I’m happy for him. He was shot a few years ago and still came out a champion.

2 months ago

The real story book ending would have been Van Mathias pulling the upset.

Big boom
Reply to  Dylan
2 months ago

Too bad he wasn’t even close

2 months ago

He was an underwater legend before it was cool

About Yanyan Li

Yanyan Li

Although Yanyan wasn't the greatest competitive swimmer, she learned more about the sport of swimming by being her high school swim team's manager for four years. She eventually ventured into the realm of writing and joined SwimSwam in January 2022, where she hopes to contribute to and learn more about …

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